Inmar Intelligence | May 31, 2016

The operational environment for pharmacies is ever-changing. Any one of the recent industry changes by itself comes with its own set of implications and challenges: The Affordable Care Act and the move to value-based reimbursement; CMS' proposed rule; 340B Drug Program; DIR fees; industry consolidation; EPA Proposed Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals. The list goes on.

Meeting the requirements of this shifting regulatory and competitive environment — all while trying to focus on spending more time on driving better outcomes to sustain profitability in the value based reimbursement model — requires the ability to adapt quickly, leveraging processes and tools that help maintain and improve operational efficiency. The pressure to innovate, integrate, and implement is intense. Pharmacies can't do all of this on their own and still have the time to spend on patient care, they need solutions that do more for them, and allow them to do that.

These solutions need to leverage data, using it as a source of insights in a timely and centralized manner to drive operational efficiencies. Equally important is that the solutions align with the needs of store-level personnel and that they are easily implemented into current operations. Having inventory solutions in your pharmacy that can make all the decisions about hazardous waste is a great example.

Hazardous-material management is challenging. Among other things, it requires ongoing research and interpretation of regulations that are constantly changing; and significant personnel training and attention, demanding a time investment that likely comes at the expense of patient care and revenue and profit driving activities. In the proposed new rule, EPA shifts more hazardous waste responsibility to the store and exacerbates an existing quandary: a conservative approach can lead to significant loss of product value recovery; conversely, a less stringent approach carries the risk of steep fines and tarnishing your reputation.

Another example to consider is product returns. There are peaks and valleys - staff turnover, seasonal fluctuations, vacation schedules, and flu season - that impact a pharmacies' ability to manage standard processes like returns, and might sometimes impact your ability to return product in a timely manner and the potential credit you are due. Additionally, some stores perform really well in returns and others miss the mark, for a variety of reasons you can't always control.

There's more than operational efficiency to be gained from having access to a hybrid reverse supply chain solution that combines automated, intuitive offsite service with an onsite service that can help you deal with peaks and valleys, or provide extra help to underperforming stores, and integrates hazardous disposition into the workflow at the back of your pharmacy. Our solution allows your pharmacy to maximize value recovery, minimize risk, and focus on what you need to: patient care.

And it doesn't stop there; we are committed to continue investing in bringing intelligence and service options into the pharmacy.

How would you benefit from intelligence and service options for the back of your pharmacy? Tell me about it in the comments section below.

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Holly Pavlika
SVP, Corporate Marketing
(336) 770-3596